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Active Service Thoughts (Poem)


Nor in the noisy world so harsh and rude
With all its vanity and paltry show:
But in the place of quiet solitude,
The deepest joy of life I really know.
Alone I sit and muse of things unseen—
Of Truth and Love, of Purity and Peace;
While to my soul there comes a rest serene—
An ecstasy of songs which never cease.
I hear them as I do my daily task.
Their music cools the sting of present pain.
I revel, like the flying fish that bask
In radiant sunshine flooding all the main.

l love the stillness of the Desert strand,
The hills which hide afar in purple mist
Rising above the trackless golden sand
To gleaming clouds which west’ring sun has kissed.
The sun—which, sinking, spreads its glory wide
Till all the earth is bathed in golden flood:
While clouds are rolling in the glorious tide,
Filling my soul with an exultant mood.

I love the stillness of the mountain high,
Above the sordid tumult of the plain.
To gaze into the blueness of the sky
Where surging clouds roll free from earthly stain.
The stillness lifts me into Holy Bliss,
I meditate in freedom from earth's thrall:
And Heaven stoops to give me her fair kiss
As o’er my head her fairest blessings fall.

I love to watch the glory in the East—
The many-tinted hues cast by the sun
Before it rises to its daily feast
Of radiant work so gloriously begun.
While, all in keeping with my silent mood,
I watch the tiny peeping insect eyes,
Drawn from the nightly chambers where they brood
By the warm rays that stream from brilliant skies.

Such pictures bring me thoughts supremely good,
When I am wearied by the common round
Of many tasks not wholly understood,
And lift me to the place where rest is found.
The memory of all the joy I've known
In scenes which made my weary spirit glad—
Of meditation wherein Love has shown
Her richest gifts to cheer when I was sad—
Comes back to me, bound by the thrall of war,
To mitigate my suffering and pain—
I hear sweet music coming from afar,
And from its echoes joys far sweeter gain.

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Herbert E. E. Hayes

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  • A/L Sergt.
  • A.O.C.
  • B.E.F

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